The latest Elon University poll out of North Carolina paints a picture of a battleground state that is so tight, there will be candidates sweating with anticipation up to the moment the final count is called.
The poll, conducted among likely voters from October 23 to October 27 was released today.
The race between Clinton and Trump is now too close to call in Elon University’s latest survey of North Carolina. The Democratic nominee leads Trump, 42 to 41.2 percent — well within the poll’s margin of error of 3.7 percentage points.
In the same North Carolina poll taken one month ago, Clinton led Trump by nearly 6 points.
An interesting note: This poll stopped just a day short of the announcement by James Comey of the new investigation into Clinton’s emails.
“North Carolina is still very much in play for both Trump and Clinton,” said Jason Husser, director of Elon University Poll and assistant professor of political science. “The Old North State is continuing its tradition as a source of true toss-up electoral votes.”
Like other races around the country, the North Carolina contest divides sharply along racial lines. One hundred percent of black respondents favor Clinton, while 67 percent of white voters in North Carolina said they planned to vote for Trump.
The poll also showed incumbent Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) leading Democratic challenger Deborah Ross, 43.5 to 39.9 percent, in the state’s Senate race.
Burr woke up this morning to a controversy he didn’t need.
He said the word “bullseye” in referring to voters and Hillary Clinton. It’s a trigger word in politics, apparently (especially when a Republican uses it). He has apologized. Time will tell if it’s enough to damage his position by Tuesday.
As most of you who have been following my work here know, I am a proud Tarheel citizen, and a supporter of Governor Pat McCrory. If we lose McCrory as governor, there’s no hope for any conservative governor in this nation.
With that in mind, I rushed to check McCrory’s position in this latest poll. He was down by several percentage points in Elon’s last released poll.
The Elon poll is a small one, surveying only 710 likely North Carolina voters. While that makes it statistically less trustworthy than some of the national polls, it becomes more valid, in that it is North Carolina-centric.
It also makes it easier to give specifics.
For example, in this latest, NC Attorney General Roy Cooper still leads McCrory, but it is the razor’s edge: 44.4% to 44.3%.
Even more specifically: Cooper received 315 votes, to McCrory’s 314 votes.
The Elon Poll went on to break down more specifics:
Libertarian candidate, Lon Cecil received 1.2% of the vote (8 votes), and another 10.1% either were unsure or refused to answer.
Both McCrory and Cooper have strong support within their party. 91% of Republicans are backing
McCrory over Cooper while 89% of Democrats favor Cooper over McCrory. McCrory holds an
advantage among Independent voters, winning 54% to Cooper’s 46%. The campaigns are also divided
on race. Cooper is winning 91% of African-American likely voters, and McCrory leads Cooper 63% to
37% among whites.
Split voting was also examined in the poll.
Split ticket voting is a rare phenomenon according to our results. Only 6% of Clinton voters and 4% of
Trump voters indicate they intend to vote for the opposing party’s nominee for Governor, Pat McCrory
(R, incumbent) and Cooper (D) respectively. Similarly, only 5% of Clinton and 2% of Trump voters
intend to vote for the opposing party’s nominee for U.S. Senate, Richard Burr (R, incumbent) and
Deborah Ross (D).
If nothing else, I expect sales for Tylenol and Pepto-Bismol to go through the roof in this last week of the election cycle.